Players Beware ... Unfair Wager Offered To Unsuspecting Players ... Complaint Filed With AG Oct 11, 2007 ...

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The Lotto Report

Editorial by Dawn Nettles

Posted - Monday, Oct 15, 2007
Revised -

About That Unfair Wager The TLC Is Currently Selling You

Commercial ... A conversation between a player and a Texas Lottery licensed sales agent ...
Player to TLC sales agent: "Hey, I heard that I could play just two numbers - a pair - in Daily 4. Is this right?"

Sales Agent: "You sure can. A .50 cent bet would pay $25 if your pair comes in the exact order and the exact position you pick."

Player: "That sounds great. I want to play my birthday and my wife's birthday. Let me have the numbers "23" as the mid pair and then I want "21" - mid pair - too. 50 cents for each bet. I owe you a dollar, right?"

Sales agent: "Yes sir. " Agent punches numbers in terminal then says to consumer, "Oh, do you want to sum it up too?"

Player: Looking confused .... "What's that?"

Sales agent: "Well, if the sum of your numbers is the same as the numbers drawn, then you win this bet too."

Player: "OK. What the heck. What's another dollar for two more chances to win? Go ahead, let's sum it up too."

Sales agent. "That'll be $2 sir."

Player: Pays clerk, gets his ticket and thanks the sales agent. Leaves store.

Next day ... Player returns to the store. Same clerk is there.

Player: "Hey, I lost my pair bet but I won the sum it up bet. The mid pair last night was "05" and that was my sum - 2+3 equals five and that's what my ticket says my sum is - FIVE."

Sales Agent: "Oh, I'm so sorry. Your sum has to match the sum of all 4 numbers drawn , not the mid pair drawn. The sum of all the numbers was twenty-two last night."

Player: "You mean the computer sums my TWO numbers to arrive at my sum BUT it only pays on the sum of all FOUR numbers drawn?"

Sales Agent: "Yes sir. It appears that's the way it is ... they think we're SUCKERS, EASY PREY.

Player: "Just how in the hell could I win a bet like that? Why didn't you tell me yesterday before you enticed me to play sum it up? Why would the state of Texas sell me such a thing? What are the chances that the sum of TWO numbers would equal the sum of FOUR numbers in a drawing?"

Sales Agent: Slim to none in my opinion. But you know, the state can do anything they want to do. Fair or unfair. Who's going to stop them? I was just doing my job when I asked if you wanted to play the sum it up. That's what the terminal told me to ask you before it would print your ticket. You said you wanted to play it. So I sold it to you. However, I do agree with you sir, it IS a bad bet. I wouldn't put my money on it.

Player: Leaves store disgruntled and angry. Goes home and kicks his cat.

End Commercial ...

Folks, this is what the TLC is doing to you. They are not only allowing a "sum it up" bet when players play "pairs," but there is a message that comes up on the terminals telling the store clerk to "ask customer if he wants to sum it up."

Terminals are adding your TWO numbers in your "Pair" to arrive at your "sum" that is printed on your tickets BUT it's the sum of all FOUR numbers that wins the wager. Your chances of winning is NOT what they tell you it is.

With a pair bet, the highest your sum could ever be is eighteen. You chances of winning your sum bet IF the sum is greater than eighteen is ZILCH.

And in this drawing, sums can be from 0 to 36, so you can't even qualify to win 50% of the total outcomes. A tidbit they failed to tell you.

In my defense ...
When they were proposing the Daily 4 rule, I was ALWAYS under the impression that players could "PICK" their sum. Turns out the way you pick your sum is by the numbers you pick to play.

I knew that players had to make another bet in order to play the "sum it up" and I opposed that issue. Only to lose. I felt it should be a stand alone wager but they just wanted to increase the costs to play the game which is exactly what they did.

But more importantly, I NEVER knew that the TLC was going to program the computer to sum players "PAIRS" then SELL a "sum it up" wager based on the sum of TWO numbers when it's the sum of FOUR numbers that wins.

The printed literature telling you what your odds are for "SUM IT UP" is completely wrong for "Pair" plays. Don't believe what you've read. You see, the odds quoted are based on summing FOUR numbers between zero through nine, not TWO numbers between zero through nine.

Complaint filed with AG, Governor, and Public Integrity Unit, District Attorney Ronnie Earls office...
On October 11, 2007, - after obtaining confirmation from the TLC that this was really happening - I did file a complaint with the AG. It is HIS job to protect consumers from OBVIOUS scams and this is definitely a SCAM.

Who in their right mind would wager money that the sum of TWO numbers would equal the sum of FOUR numbers in a drawing? While it is possible to win a "pair/sum it up" bet, for the vast majority of the players who spend money on this bet, they are NOT likely to win such a wager. The TLC has seen to it that you will most likely lose this bet. Called pocket change for the state!

This IS the definition of a state sponsored SCAM. Forget the "integrity" the TLC "claims" to possess ... there is NO integrity on the "pair/sum it up" wager offered to players.

As I write this, NO ACTION has been taken by the TLC to stop selling "PAIR/Sum it Up" wagers - in the manner to which they are selling it - nor have I heard from the AG with reference to my complaint. As far as I'm concerned now - the state is allowing a state agency to sell an unscrupulous and unfair wager to unsuspecting consumers and the state is allowing a state agency to falsely advertise for FINANCIAL gain for themselves.

Players do NOT know that terminals are summing their TWO numbers (pairs) - and they have no way of knowing this PRIOR to purchasing the wager. Just call it the best kept secret in Texas!

Should you want to read my complaint letter, click here. (pdf)

What can you do about this?
I'd strongly urge you to contact your State Representatives and Senators about this. You can file a complaint with the Attorney General & the State Auditors Office. The State Auditors Office has a complaint form online. Use it.

Finally, tell the press how you feel. These guys WANT to hear from you so SPEAK up. Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Austin American Statesman, San Antonio Express News, Ft. Worth Star Telegram. Ya'll try telling them what you've been saying to me. OK?

Daily 4 is two weeks old - how is it doing?
Short answer, not worth a damn. Sales are very low for the game (you can compare Pick3 sales before and after launching Daily 4). Pick3, Cash5, Texas 2 Step, and Lotto Texas sales have declined in the past two weeks - players who are playing Daily 4 have simply cut back spending on the other games in order to play Daily 4. This is exactly what I thought would happen - and it did. In time, players will QUIT playing altogether out of shear disgust of losing - in my humble opinion. Only time will tell us for sure but it's not looking good now.


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